When our first attempts at gardening bring us close to giving up, we need to be inspired. Once again we need to be reminded of what’s possible and remember the reason we wanted to garden in the first place.
Gardening books, especially the coffee table type can help with that. But there is a better option. Put aside your shovel and hoe. Leave your bag of mulch in the yard and take a short trip to a botanical garden or arboretum.
Get inspired by taking a walk in a formal garden setting. There are botanical gardens throughout the world. In San Diego, CA alone, there are twelve organizations with botanical gardens. (See links to botanical garden searches below.)
Botanical gardens often have many rooms with plants from different areas of the world, or with different classifications of plants. They are museums to display live plants the way zoos are places to display animals. They are usually well landscaped on the outside and the feast of beauty begins before entering the building.
Gardens have been around for thousands of years, but botanical gardens only since the 19th century. Each botanical garden has its own fascinating history. Conflicts during the planning, building and funding stages and how they were resolved find a place in each garden’s history. But these are not evident while walking through the beautiful displays of flowers and plants.
According to Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), there are 1775 botanical gardens and arboreta in 148 countries around the world and more under construction. You’re bound to find something within driving distance of your home. Search for something near you at BGCI, or at the International Botanical Gardens and Arboretums.
You can enjoy pictures of the United States Botanic Garden by accessing a free electronic copy of: A Botanic Garden for the Nation: the United States Botanic Garden. You can also order a hard copy of the book.
A handful of beautiful botanic garden websites to enjoy:
San Diego Botanical Garden (not the same as Balboa Park Botanic Building)
Ask questions and dream about possibilities.
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